Student Life

Free and Easy on Spring Break

Written by Cody McCauley


Spring break is a time for students all over to unwind from the stressful school environment, while giving their exhausted brains a break. Some go to new places, some go to old places, and some don’t go anywhere. But all students are using this time with the same idea of having fun and finally being away from school.

Students on spring break try to relax, having the ability to take a breath with out worrying about an assignment due the next day. How would it make you feel to have a week dedicated to easing your mind? Joey Platenik said, “Really good considering I’ve been thrown homework by every teacher the last couple weeks.” School has been hectic with lots to do. But luckily all of us students receive a week let go of all that stress.

Many people have fun in different ways and unwind in different ways. For example, I went to a skim boarding competition and hung out with old friends. For Joey Platenik he had “family come over and we went going golfing and to the beach”.  Walker Hayes added about his free time: “my plans for spring break were to skimboard and fish,” which is exactly what he did. Skimboarding is a beach sport where you throw a flat board on the sand when a wave washes up on the shore, and then you ride the board out into the water and do extreme tricks.  All of us doing something different with the common idea in mind that we a free from school and are having a great time.

We hope all students had a great spring break and found their piece of mind during that one last free week before testing, finals, and presentations take up all their time.


SPHS Student Receives Volunteer Award

Written by Brianna Barron

Recently I interviewed Jacob Hodgson, a Suncoast Polytechnical High School student who won an award of recognition for volunteering. I asked him a few questions, including about how he got the award and what type of volunteering he did.  The award that he won was a recognition award which was presented at the county building downtown and people were recognized for being some of the biggest contributors of volunteering in the county, and for all their hard work and dedication. I asked  him how he won his award and he described how he started volunteering at the Fruitville Library and how he was always looking for things to do to help out, which seemed to please the coordinator there. Jacob explained that he now has all 100 of his volunteer hours needed to graduate and apply for the Bright Futures Scholarship, constituting of about 98.5 hours from the Fruitville Library and the remaining 1.5 from an open house he did in school. When I voiced my curiosity about what type of activities he did while at the library, he explained how he would keep and sort the books, help out when needed, and make sure events run smoothly.

It was pretty cool to find out more on how he got the award and the reason for it. It was also very kind of him to allow me to interview him and I’m very thankful for that. If you need any extra volunteer hours then you can get hours by volunteering in any near-by library, just like Jacob did.


A Pilot Speaks of Flying (to the SPHS 9th Grade)

Written by Cody McCauley

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1st Officer Mary Ann Claret, from Silver Airlines, and the mother of one of our own students here at SPHS – Maria Dach – spoke to the 9th grade classes on Wednesday March 6th during Seminar. She spoke of her education, her job, and the benefits of jobs in the fields of aviation.

Ms. Claret attended college at Emory Riddle College here in Florida where she studied Management and Piloting. She spoke of how during her freshman year, after completing three courses, she was able to get her pilot’s license and “solo” when she was only 18 years old. “Soloing” is when a pilot is able to fly on their own.

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She also spoke of how there are shortages in aviation labor market right now, with many jobs available from Air Traffic Controllers to Aviation Mechanics. She also said that the salaries are very good.

Ms. Claret works for Silver Airlines full time and also has a part-time job flying for Mote Marine Research Laboratory on Lido Key doing manatee surveys. When describing this part-time job, she said it was an “amazing experience — a unique way to fly and see Sarasota.”

Throughout her career, she has worked in various fields in the aviation industry including the Avionics shop, as an airline attendant, as a flight instructor, and in airline management.

She also spoke of groups and universities that are available to students of our ages (see photo). We all thank 1st Officer Claret for sharing her stories and experiences with the SPHS 9th grade. She truly has opened the eyes for many students to the benefits of working in the aviation industry.

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The Importance of Learning a Foreign Language

Written by Keira Geary

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Why You Should Learn Another Language – Benefits – World Languages – Methods and Tips

As globalization of the world continues to increase, the global face of language is slowly changing and growing. Bilingualism and multilingualism are perhaps one of the most useful real-world skills to have. Learning a foreign language will allow one to connect and communicate with others from different backgrounds all over the world. The benefits of speaking multiple languages will set you up for success in practically every aspect of your life.


Boosts Brain Power

Learning a foreign language introduces your brain to a whole new intricate system of rules, structures, and lexis. Your brain must cope with the complexity of the foreign language and absorb its patterns. Through doing this, your brain develops new learning skills, such as cognitive thinking and problem-solving.

Improves Memory

Learning a new language not only requires a familiarity with the vocabulary and rules, but also provides you with the ability to recall and apply this knowledge. The brains of multilingual people are more exercised and quicker to recall directions, names, facts and figures.

Improves Performance in Other Academic Areas

The benefits of learning and knowing more than one language included higher exam scores and improves reading comprehension and vocabulary. Language skills increase the ability to do well with different problem-solving tasks.

Increases Career Choices

Multilingual employees add value to the workforce and is a competitive edge in today’s world.

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World Languages

The most spoken languages in the world are:

  1. Chinese
  2. English
  3. Spanish
  4. Arabic
  5. Hindi
  6. Bengali
  7. Portuguese
  8. Russian
  9. Japanese
  10. German

Learning one of these languages, due to their global popularity and number of speakers, would give you an advantage to getting a job.

Methods and Tips

  1. When learning a new language, consistent study time is the key to achieving the best results.
  2. Don’t wait too long before speaking out loud, conversation and overall speaking as much as you can will really help you remember the language and help you learn.
  3. When learning a new language, Motivation is key. If you don’t have a good reason to learn a language, then you’re less likely to stay motivated for the long-run.


AP Capstone

Written by Brianna Barron


Recently, I interviewed Mr. Przekwas about AP Capstone, which is a program available to all students here at SPHS. I asked him questions about what it’s about and the benefits of completing it. If you’re interested in joining Capstone next year, starting in sophomore year, or just simply want to know what’s it about, then this article is for you. Here are some of the questions that were asked and his responses to them:

Question 1: “What’s AP Capstone and what are the requirements?”

Answer: “Capstone is the College Board program designed to increase student’s ability to think, write, and conduct research at the collegiate level. Students undertake two classes: AP Seminar and AP Research, and they must pass the courses as well the AP exam at the end of those courses to earn a certificate saying that they’re competent enough to do high level academic research at the collegiate level. If students pass four other AP course tests, they receive a AP Capstone diploma, which is the highest honor a student can receive; it’s the pinnacle of high school achievement besides the regular high school diploma.”

Question 2: “Why do you think students should pursue the Capstone diploma and/or certificate?”

Answer: “…The Capstone program brings us back into an awareness of not just that functionality, but also it brings us to the future of education in a positive way. So much of education you’ve been told that you can’t do, or that you must do it this particular way. We finally have a class where you’re told ‘yes you can do this, yes you can explore this creative outlet, yes you can research what you want to research.’ There is no wrong way to do things, generally, in this class. The only wrong way to do things is to not have a sense of creativity and not have a sense of inquiry. So, it brings us back to what education really should be all about, which is the student’s desire to learn something that they once didn’t know before.”


Question 3: “What’s the passing rate for AP Seminar and AP Research?”

Answer: “The pass rate for AP Seminar is one of the highest, from last year 2018 it was 89%, although AP Research is an unknown rate for now.”

Question 4: “How many colleges accept Capstone?”

Answer: “Nearly all of the colleges in the Florida system, most of the ivy league schools are considering it for acceptance as well and credit. As well out west, like the California State school systems are accepting Capstone. Many of the most rigorous, highly academic and selective schools are looking for this.”

Question 5: “What’s AP Seminar like? And what’s AP Research like?”

Answer: “AP Seminar is the theory and the practice before you get to Research, while AP Seminar teaches you the skills and presentation, how to design a presentation, how to interact with the text from a very unique and academic perspective, looking at author’s argument, their line of reasoning, their evidence, looking at it from a very specific point of view, and being able to integrate that information into a paper, and being able to present that information as well. AP Research is the application of AP Seminar’s theory, in which students will choose a topic that is of interest to them, whether it’s a STEM related topic or an academic related topic, they will explore that with a mentor outside of the school system, they will have a tremendous amount of independent movement and practice.”

Question 6: “What are the AP tests like?”

Answer: The AP test for AP Seminar is an EOC that the students take in May and is a two-hour written exam. It compromises two particular types of questions: they have to read and synthesize documents in one and they have to evaluate the author’s argument and evidence in another. Although, there is no end-of-course exam for AP Research, instead it’s the combination of their entire year: so, it’s a 5,000-word essay with a twenty-minute presentation in oral defense.

Question 7: “How are you maneuvering the schedules around to fit AP Seminar next year? Are you keeping online AP Lang.”?

Answer: “Yes, we’ll be keeping online AP Lang. I’ve learned to adapt a little bit on how that will work, it is a work-in-progress, but we’ve learned a lot on what students have done this year, what they need to be successful, and there will be still some changes to that. AP Lang for the current year sophomores will not be online, it will be face to face. If any junior wants to take Seminar for the first time, they will probably have to take an online AP Lang class. Honors English II online will continue.”

Hopefully, from reading these questions and answers you have more of an idea and knowledge about AP Capstone and have become more interested in joining Capstone. Also, major thanks to Mr. Przekwas for taking his time and allowing us to interview him and answer our questions. If you have any more questions about Capstone that you’re still unsure about then you can always ask Mr. Przekwas or email him.


Written by Brianna Barron

There is so much music nowadays that you can listen to, including pop, electronic, hip-pop, country, etc. Many songs that you listen to have meaning to them: some are love songs, break up songs, etc. Here are a few old songs that fit the bill: “Closing Time” by Semisonic, “Imagine” by John Lennon, “Harder to Breathe” by Maroon 5.

Personally, I’m more into Latin pop songs. One song that I’ve been recently listening to is a Spanish song by Santiago called, “Como decirte que te quiero,” which means: “How do I say to you that I love you.” I know, a love song; but for me this song has more meaning to me than just being a love song; the melody or beat, was something that I really like about it.

Melody/Beat: the song starts off with the piano playing the melody of the song, guitar, electric guitar, and drums later added. Even with all these instruments included, throughout the song, the melody is like a catchy, good beat, that makes you want to sing along to it, or hum it in some cases. The beat of the song really goes with the lyrics and both the lyrics and the beat create a little spark together.

Meaning: the meaning behind this song is how two different people, a girl and a boy, have a hard time confessing to their loved one that he/she likes that person. They talk about how they feel, and how that person makes them feel, by their side, or gone. It’s a song that makes you feel that it wasn’t written in a few seconds, but was written towards that person’s feelings, what they have gone through. For most people, it’s a song that you can really relate to.

Whenever you’re listening to a song, take some time to comprehend the song: is it something that you can relate to? What’s the meaning of the song? Or message? Does it have a sad beat, or melody? Or is it just a fast beat that makes you want to dance around. Also, don’t just listen to one type of genre of music–go beyond and listen to other types. You’ll be happy you did.

New Year Resolutions

Written by Aby Mendez

With the beginning of the new year comes the ambition to set new goals. So, let’s crank up the motivation by hearing what these celebs have planned for the 2019 “new year, new me” trend.

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande had a tough year when it came to relationships. She endured the breakup and death of her ex-boyfriend, Mac Miller, she also broke-off her engagement to comedian Pete Davidson.  Her resolution was to remain single for all of 2019 and possibly all her life so that she can focus on herself. Maybe 2k19 is the year for us to focus on ourselves.

9th Grader Zander Rouwhorst

In 2019, I want to be unique and different. Especially when it comes to my music, I want to be different than others. And when it comes to school, I want to stand out and do my best too, as the year comes to an end.

Kevin Hart

Over the years comedian and actor Kevin Hart hasn’t failed to make many people laugh. The fun and lighthearted speech he posted on his Instagram story is sure to motivate you for at least a good 4 months. In addition, he went live on Instagram and told his followers that another trip around the sun means it is time for a “new attitude, new goals, new blessings, new beginnings and new starts.” He then followed these words of encouragement with some playful yelling, and his up-beat energy could be felt through our screens.

Shay Mitchell

Pretty Little Liars Actress Shay Mitchell has a huge audience to inspire (21 million followers). The actress took to her Instagram story to tell her followers that in the new year, she wants them to remember that everyone is in the journey of life together. She continued by encouraging all her followers to be more compassionate, empathetic, patient and thoughtful in 2019.

Amazing Student Art


Bella Ocasio

This was a drawing for my friend’s 16th birthday. I spent 5 and a half hours on it, staying up until 3 am to finish it. I also wanted this piece to be a practice of a less cartoon-like art style.


Phoenix Phan

War: I’ve been dreaming of dystopian world, seeing devastating views. These images were still in my head until I let them all out on a piece of paper. I guess the best way of fighting against war is through art.

Constellations PP

Phoenix Phan

Constellations: When we’re together, we created something far better than what we would be individually, like stars in constellations.


Josette Compagniony

Ivy:  “Ivy” is about a 17 year old girl named Ivy. She’s loud, independent, and will stand up for what she believes in. Often dubbed as aggressive, Ivy is actually one of the kindest souls one will ever meet. She may not be the most intelligent, but she’s the bravest person you’ll ever meet. “Ivy’s character is based off an old friend of mine from Detroit.

Venice Indians Make it to Semi-Finals

Venice Vs Braden River, High School Football

Written by Austin Rozelle


A Friday night in late November was a night to remember. The Venice Indians have once again made it to the prestigious Final Four. Coach John Peacock is on his way to earning his third state championship ring. The final score of 28-21, brings Braden River to a well fought close of their season.

Though Braden River came up with a close loss, their stats showed more. Quarterback Bryan Gagg had an outstanding game with 350 total yards and a total of 2 complete touchdown passes.  The Braden River Pirates has called him the Man of the Match.  The Braden River Pirates had a total of 3 Touchdowns and a total of 3 Interceptions. The Pirates end their season with a district season of 4-1.

The Venice Indians pulled out the win with a total of 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Running back Brandon Gregory had a total of 92 yards. The Venice Indians named two players for the Men of the Match. First being Brandon Gregory, and Zack Sessa for having an average of 59 yards last game with 4 touchbacks. The Venice Indians will play St. Thomas Aquinas. This match will determine who will be in the State Championship.

Pictures courtesy of the Herald-Tribune

Yearbook Pictures for Grades 10 and 11

Written by Aby Mendez